June 19--As a prelude to the city's annual St. Peter's Fiesta paying homage to the patron saint of fishermen, Local Colors Artists' Cooperative hosts a show each year to celebrate both the fishing community and beauty of Cape Ann.
Now in its 25th year, the art gallery is once again hosting this special exhibit, titled "Fish Tales," as its annual tribute by the artists, with a free public reception at Local Colors in Gloucester on Saturday, June 21, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with refreshments.
Each of the 18 artists is called upon to interpret the theme according to their artistic calling. For special events like this, the artists are encouraged to create works outside their usual media to allow for growth and expansion of their creative talents.
"This event is so meaningful to me on many levels" said Kathy Bucholska, a mixed media artist and jewelry designer at Local Colors. "Not only is it a celebration of the fishing industry and way of life, but the fish symbol brings special meaning to me. In my work, I use the fish to represent abundance and spiritual nourishment."
Bucholska, who has been at the gallery for 24 years, created a three-strand amethyst necklace with schools of fish beads.
"Not only do I feel abundance and spiritual nourishment from the fish, but amethyst brings peace, protection and contentment," she said.
Artist Virginia Townsend said she was inspired by the biggest "fish tale" ever told by Herman Melville celebrating man versus nature here in New England. She had the idea to paint whales on a large platter "representing the huge part whales play in the New England culture."
Painter Bonnie Gray sought to capture the thrill and excitement of "the first cast of the day for that elusive striped bass."
Photographer Jim Sousa infused into his work wood and rope -- often used in the early days of Gloucester Fishermen. "It inspired me to use these in my prints where the fisherman and the dolphin/mermaid were printed on birch plywood, and using manila rope in the framing," he said.
Ann Schlecht created a new charm of St. Peter in celebration of the Fiesta. Each charm comes with a small picture of the iconic statue as well as a brief history.
A few more examples of the varied work include the art of long-time member, Sally Seamans, aka Tin Can Sally, who uses recycled sardine, tuna and anchovy cans to make whimsical, fish wall ornaments.
In another twist on the theme, Patricia Doherty painted a fish and anchor on mirrors that were also decorated with sea glass and pottery pieces found on local beaches. Donna Amero is known for her seashells imbedded in her stained glass art, and she creates her visions for this show.
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-675-2707, or via email at email@example.com.
If you go
What: "Fish Tales," a new exhibit by Local Colors Artists' Cooperative, now in its 25th year.
When: There is a free public reception on Saturday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The exhibit runs through July 4.
Where: Local Colors at 121 Main St. in Gloucester.
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